11.05.2012 09:31 AM

All the news fit to predict, right here, and free of charge, too

In the U.S., popular vote don’t matter so much.  Sure, the ebbs and flows of the avalanche of national polls have been plenty fun to watch.  Sure.

But Barack Obama, my guy since 2004, has been winning this thing for quite some time.

I’ll have more to say about this in my Sun column tomorrow morning – and on Sun News Network, starting tomorrow night – but the bottom line is that there is only one U.S. pundit worth paying any attention to: Nate Silver.  He’s a certfiable god-like genius, consulted for his analyses of everything from the electoral college to major league baseball.

Silver’s take, which you can fairly regard as gospel:

Based on the simulations that we ran on early Sunday evening, for example, Mr. Obama would have an 85 percent chance of winning the Electoral College if the popular vote were exactly tied nationally. This is where Mr. Obama’s Electoral College advantages, particularly in Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin, would be of their maximum benefit. Given a tied national popular vote, we would expect Mr. Obama to underperform his polls slightly in these states — but since he leads by a minimum of about three points in the polling average in each one, he could underperform those numbers and still win them.

Mr. Obama would be almost certain to win the Electoral College if he won the popular vote by a percentage point or so.

Bottom line?  It’s all over, conservatives.  Thanks for coming out, and go suck an egg.

34 Comments

  1. Bruce A says:

    “Dewey Defeats Truman”.
    November 3, 1948
    Chicago Tribune

  2. WDM says:

    As of this morning, I have it at 294-244 for Obama. He takes all the swing states other than NC, FL and CO. i know he’s ahead in Colorado, but I figure the high altitude and Tim Thomas swing that one to Romney. Could wind up being a much bigger win as well. Obama has a shot in Florida as well, but for now I’m giving it to Mitt.

  3. Cynical says:

    and a typical sour grapes “takedown” of Silver in Maclean’s, courtesy of the ever-predictable Mr. Cosh.
    Guess where I’d put my money!

    http://www2.macleans.ca/2012/11/04/tarnished-silver-assessing-the-new-king-of-stats/

    Looking forward to hoisting a glass to Mr.Obama later in the week. Maybe not Tuesday night. I’m an old guy.

  4. Ty says:

    He absolutely bombed the British election in 2010.

  5. Torgo says:

    It’s also been interesting to note the right-wing attack campaign against Silver. Along with some typical homophobic comments from their ilk (one called him a member of the ‘new castrati’), it’s been like watching someone fight against reality itself; their ‘opposition’ to climate change is quite similar . Even the right-wing site Real Clear Politics has had Obama consistently in the lead for electoral votes (including after Romney had a bounce from the first debate), but no, that’s wrong, it’s just part of a Lib-Left conspiracy to skew the polls. We can all await the wailing on Wednesday when voter fraud (which rarely occurs in the US) is trotted out as an excuse, along with the ‘lamestream media’ and some racist fantasies about illegals.

    One could always hope that an Obama victory would lead to the re-emergence of moderate Republicans (which Romney was in another life) or a more co-operative stance on the part of the likely-Republican House, but I doubt it. We can look forward to four more years of rants about the Kenyan socialist witch doctor and delusions that the deficit and debt can be fixed with massive tax cuts.

  6. dave says:

    Over the past 4 years I have seen in USA ‘progresive’ sites, and with a couple of acquaintances down there a fair amount of disappointment, and anger with the Obama admin. Romney will get the right and far right vote, but I think there might be fewer votes for Obama. Some people might either park their vote with Stein or Johnson, or simply not vote. Sandy could contribute to this. Guantonamo and the militaristic foreign policy (and miltarism itself) have fed up a few people.
    I also suspect theat the vote suppression stuff will be effective…the money and thunder put inot that effort will start to pay off.
    I also suspect electronic voting machines.
    My only predict is that there will be a drop in the number of people voting.

    Well, I will also predict that our Canada party system will glean what works from this election…mostly the anti democratic stunts.

  7. Merrill Smith says:

    “In the U.S., popular vote don’t matter so much.” In Canada, as we have seen, it matters even less.

  8. Kelly says:

    The US has a phony electoral system just like we do. Same with the UK (except for Scotland). Australia has a partly phony partly legit system with its preferential vote. New Zealand uses mixed member proportional representation and elects legitimate governments. The rest of the Anglosphere doesn’t. so all the breathless reporting of polls seat predictions electoral college outcomes is junk. It’s meaningless in terms of real democracy. Even worse, media reports polls the state popular vote when it knows full well popular vote is irrelevant. The whole edifice of electoral politics in Kost of the Angloshpere is a sham. Until we can place our vote and it counts directly toward electing representation as we intended, it’s all just pretend. Warren’s first sentence is a giveaway…”In the U.S., popular vote don’t matter so much. “

    • GPAlta says:

      We could have a much more representative parliament in no time if the Senate were to be converted to proportional representation immediately, leaving the House of Commons exactly as it is, and requiring a parliamentary majority across both houses to pass legislation. Most of the country already hates the Senate, the current “government” has promised to make it “elected,” what are we waiting for? Elect the whole senate by PR every time we have a general election, and you’d soon see what the real will of the people is.

      • Jim says:

        Great idea. Leave the Commons as is, and make the Senate elected and with proportional representation. You should be in politics.

      • Merrill Smith says:

        A good idea, but the devil is in the details. Details like the distorted distribution of seats. Changing that would require a constitutional amendment and the inevitable trade-offs to buy agreement.

      • Kelly says:

        Why leave the house as it is? Make it proportional and scrap the senate. Problem solved.

        • GPAlta says:

          I would leave the House as is because it has the understanding of and confidence of the people. That kind of confidence is too valuable to give up. Everyone wants to be represented in Ottawa by someone who lives in their riding. That is not possible with PR.

          But the 60% of Canadian voters who didn’t vote for the Cons want to be represented in Ottawa by someone who shares their view of Canada, instead of being completely left out of the process with hundreds of second, third, or fourth place candidates instead of a senator or two. So the Senate goes PR and becomes a national house, while the House stays as is as a local/regional one.

          The party, or coalition, with the greatest number of seats across both houses has the most influence. If you go by the last election, 60% of the Senate and 47% of the House would be opposed to Harper, If you make the houses equal (and why not) that means 53% of parliament would be opposed to Harper and 47% would be with him. You could put them all in one house if you want, more like New Zealand, but that makes it way harder to understand who is who and why they’re there.

          I’ll stop there since this is off topic, and I don’t want to get in trouble with Warren

      • James Hanna says:

        I have been saying something similar for a long time. Two changes – the first, make it proporational, but based on the provincial election results – after all, the Senate is supposed to represent provincial interests, so it should reflect the provincial legislature.
        One advantage of this approach (either at the provincial or federal level) is it does away with a specific senate election per se.

        The second change – is instead of requiring a parliamentary majority across both houses, adopt what Bert Brown proposed, using the 2/3 of provinces with 50% of the population formula to defeat any legislation coming from the House. This sets a higher standard int eh Senate to overturn legislation approved by the House, but also allows it that role when the provinces are onside. Interestingly, for the anti-Senate reform crowds in QUebec and Ontario, this could have defeated the gun registry abolition and the justice reforms; two items opposed in many provinces and which downloaded a lot of cost onto provinces.

        ANd regardless, at the very least the regions, if not each province, need to have equal representation – with BC being a separate region from the Prairies. One thing I can not understand about Harper’s “reforms” is to the extent they succeed (a doubtful proposition at this point) they would lock in a very unequal seat distribution, especially with regard to the West.

        • GPAlta says:

          I could live with this approach as well, as long as it is PR for the senate, not distribution according to provincial legislatures, since provincial legislatures are also FPTP.

          I don’t think the need for regional representation is as important as it once was, especially if the house explicitly represents the regions (which has been the case for many years now – Reform, Bloc, CPC, etc). Those Canadians who are disenfranchised by their ideology not fitting into the winning party’s are far greater in number than those who are disenfranchised by their region not being considered by the winning party. But both factors are important, so I entrust regional representation to the house and ideological representation to the Senate.

    • Doug says:

      Why does “real democracy” require counting votes at a national instead of local level?

      Each riding’s MP is the ‘popular vote’ winner in their district. Don’t you think you’re assuming quite a bit by saying “as we intended?” The last referendum in Ontario over electoral reform seems to indicate that people are quite comfortable with the system as it is.

      • Kelly says:

        I won’t post about this again because it’s off topic, but in answer to your statement that local riding results reflect local popular support that is untrue. It’s rare that a given MP gets a majority of the popular vote. This is precisely the problem and is the reason popular will is hardly ever reflected in election results. Mixed member PR goes some distance to solving this, ad would a preferential vote. Just rank your choices 1-2-3 etc start with the “1’s” then add “2s” etc until someone gets over 50% of the vote. It’s sort of like run-off elections in a single step. The alternative is a bonafide 2-party system, but for obvious reasons that is a sham democracy and only one step removed from the old Soviet system.

  9. Susan MacIsaac says:

    You make me laugh Warren even though your last sentence is not very gracious in what is going to be a very sweet victory indeed.

    Americans are going to get it right, by a hair, but they will come through.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/05/polls-2012_n_2038645.html?ir=Canada+Politics&utm_hp_ref=canada

  10. Tim says:

    Which means status quo. A bitterly divided electorate. Seething discontent from grassroots movements on the left and right. A dysfunctional congress. And a revolving door employee exchange program between Goldman Sachs and the Treasury department. I never viewed Romney as a credible candidate but I’m not holding my breath for Obama to be any more effective in breaking up the logjam in his second term either. It would be nice if that thought turned out to be totally wrong.

    • Ottawa Civil Servant says:

      Lesson for Canada: American Democrats vilified George W., claimed even the Supreme Court robbed them of an election; now they sheake their collective heads as Republicans refuse to accept the Orator-in-Chief.

      In Canada, we have Pierre Trudeau’s son openly musing about the disintegration of one of the most blessed countries to have ever existed, if Canadians democratically vote for a particular leader.

      The Liberals are in danger of becoming as unhinged as any “Truther” Republican.

      • Torgo says:

        If we’re going to play a game of who started it, you might want to go back to the 90s and look up a video called ‘The Clinton Chronicles’ and stories from the Right about how Hillary Clinton was a secret lesbian who hung tampons from the family Christmas tree. Also, Obama’s victory in 2008 was far more clear-cut than either of Bush II’s.

        As far as Canada goes, I disagree with Trudeau and his criticism of the NDP, but, given that we have an active separatist movement and a weakened but still active federal party that advocates for separatism, it’s still a relevant issue that merits discussion in the public sphere.

      • Ted B says:

        Yes, it really bothered me when Trudeau furthered the disintegration of this most blessed countries to have ever existed by musing “Whether Canada ends up as one national government, or two national governments, or several national governments or some other kind of arrangement is, quite frankly, secondary in my opinion.” His firewall letter about separating Alberta from the rest of the country was just as offensive. And calling whole regions of the country disfunctional and having a “defeatist culture”, musing about dismantling the universality of healthcare, and claiming that the only people to vote Liberal west of Winnipeg are “either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada; people who live in ghettos and are not integrated into Western Canadian society” was polarizing and undermined our national unity.

        He should never be leader.

        Oh. Wait…

  11. Dude Love says:

    Bottom line? It’s all over, conservatives. Thanks for coming out, and go suck an egg. <<-- isn't this contrary to what you are telling us not to do in your book? You also mentioned it the interview with Fanny Kiefer.

  12. steve says:

    Top ten reasons to vote for Obama, or if you cant vote hope.
    http://thinkingaboot.blogspot.ca/2012/11/obama-biden-2012.html

  13. MathewG says:

    The union vote will put Obama over the top, but is another Obama term in Canada’s best interest? I think not.

    Obama’s Buy American law provisions will continue to strip US branch plant manufacturing jobs, particularly out of Ontario and repatriate them back to the US homeland.

    Obama is poison for unionized Canadian factory workers, but Dippers will still love Obama. Crazy…eh?

  14. TDotRome says:

    The same stats have been infographic’d by the New York Times. Brilliantly, I might add.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/11/02/us/politics/paths-to-the-white-house.html?smid=tw-thecaucus

  15. monkey says:

    My prediction is 290-248 for Obama otherwise he still wins but by a smaller margin than 2008. Asides from Virginia and Colorado which are truly toss ups, I think each swing state leans in one direction or another. On the popular vote I think it is pretty close to a 50/50 chance at who wins, but for the electoral vote, I would give Obama 70/30 chance of winning in terms of probability. Either way whomever win is going to have their work cut out as the country is as divided as ever and it seems each side hates the other with a passion and is unwilling to even listen to what they have to say unlike in the past where they may have disagreed, but they were respectful disagreements and bipartisanship did happen quite often.

  16. Michael S says:

    Uh, Nate’s fine, but Sam Wang is far more accurate, and has gotten electoral vote counts right in 2004 and 2008 as well as seat counts right in 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. He’s criminally underrated.

    http://election.princeton.edu

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